BOEM Announces Availability of Environmental Assessment for Point Arguello Unit Well Conductors Removal

Sub title
Agency Seeks Comments from the Public
Release Date
Camarillo, CA

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announces the availability of an Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzes potential environmental impacts of removing 62 well conductors from three non-producing Point Arguello oil and gas platforms, located 5.9 to 6.8 miles offshore of Santa Barbara County, California. This notice initiates a 15-day public comment period on the document.

BOEM prepared the EA at the request of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEEto inform BSEE’s permitting decision on whether the project is technically and environmentally sound, including consideration of mitigation measures. The EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts based on the project’s technical and environmental information provided by operator Freeport-McMoRan LLC in support of their permit application to BSEE.

As described in the EA, Freeport maintains responsibility for plugging and abandonment of all wells and removal of 62 well conductors on platforms Harvest, Hermosa, and Hidalgo. Once Freeport has permanently abandoned a well, it will proceed with removal of the well conductor. Well conductors are the metal tubes extending from the platform to the seafloor, which are used for housing during well drilling and subsequent production. Removing the conductors is a precursor to future removal of the platforms. The remaining platform structure, including decks and subsea jacket, will remain in place until this conductor removal project is complete and BSEE receives and approves a forthcoming decommissioning platform removal application.

This notice opens a 15-day public review and comment period. BOEM and BSEE will assess and consider the comments received on the Environmental Assessment before any decision. Comments should be submitted or postmarked no later than February 14, 2020.

How to Comment (Starting January 31, 2020)

Interested parties may submit written comments through the following methods:

  • In written form, deliver by hand or by mail: Enclose comments in an envelope labeled “Point Arguello Well Conductor Removal" and provide to the following address:

Regional Supervisor Office of Environment
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
760 Paseo Camarillo, Suite #102
Camarillo, CA 93010-6002

Please be aware that your entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time.

BSEE is the permitting agency for the well conductor removal project analyzed in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis document released by BOEM today. BOEM provided NEPA support to BSEE by developing the Environmental Assessment to identify and address real and potential consequences and mitigations associated with the conductor removal project.